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Universal in Talks With Lego Group to Develop New Films Based on Toys (EXCLUSIVE)

Universal Pictures is in talks with the Lego Group to develop new feature film properties based on the popular block toys, numerous sources close to the pending deal told Variety.

Producer Dan Lin, who has made several films based on the childhood staple at Warner Bros., is expected to remain on future projects despite his overall deal at Warners.

The pact with Universal is a much broader use of the intellectual property than the previous films, sources said, which saw actors like Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks bring life to geometric heroes in a world populated by Legos.

Among the ideas Universal is floating is a reimagining of its own content library through the toys, sources said. “Jurassic World,” for instance, saw a spinoff Lego series made and sold globally in 2019, which aired in the U.S. on Nickelodeon. There are also concepts floating for live-action hybrid features.

A spokesperson for Universal had no comment. A spokesperson for Lego owner Kirkbi A/S did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

At WB, Lin has shepherded the Lego franchise to over $1 billion in box office worldwide. The dedicated “Lego Movie” franchise saw a staggering domestic decline from the first to the second film — $105 million for the sequel down from the $257 million gross of the original.

The offshoot “The Lego Ninjago Movie” stacked up only $59 million in the U.S., but Will Arnett’s “The Lego Batman Movie” turned a healthy $175 million on an $80 million budget.

Under the Universal Pictures umbrella, now under the autonomous control of chairman Donna Langley who reports to new NBC-Universal CEO Steve Burke, Lego would join an animation stable including Chris Meladandri’s Illumination and DreamWorks Animation.

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